Partnering in Prevention

By: Sara Shager

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David Petersen, Assistant Fire Marshal Lake Stevens Fire

On Saturday, June 24, The American Red Cross and Lake Stevens Fire Department partnered to Sound the Alarm and save lives by installing more than 100 smoke alarms in the Connor Park Mobile Home Park in Lake Stevens, WA.

“Many people are unaware of the vital impact smoke alarms have during home fires,” said Assistant Fire Marshal of the Lake Stevens Fire Department, David Petersen. “Smoke alarms are crucial for early warning. Most people who don’t make it out die from smoke inhalation and are found right by an exit, so the extra time that smoke alarms can give is everything.”

The Red Cross relies on partnerships with Lake Stevens and other local fire departments to amplify the importance of the Home Fire Campaign. Launched in 2014, it aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires by 25 percent.

“We already partner with local fire departments on a daily basis when responding to disasters,” said Snohomish County Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Jamie Gravelle. “So it’s natural to extend that relationship to our prevention efforts as well. Working with firefighters brings visibility to our mutual goal of home fire prevention, through education and the installation of smoke alarms.”

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Smoke alarm install kits are staged and ready for a recent Sound the Alarm event

Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by fire in half, while having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. During every Sound the Alarm install event, Red Cross and partner volunteers install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create those plans.

“Education about the importance of smoke alarms is essential, and that’s why the partnership with the Red Cross during these installations is so beneficial,” said Petersen.

If you would like to partner with The Red Cross to install live-saving smoke alarms in your community, visit soundthealarm.org or call your local Red Cross chapter.

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